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This vegan cashew cream tomato sauce is a plant-based and nutritious option to a traditional tomato sauce made with heavy cream. The sauce is dairy-free, gluten-free, and so easy to make!

overhead photo of white bowl on top of small wood cutting board with rigatoni pasta tossed in a red cashew cream tomato sauce

This recipe was originally posted on 08/22/2018. It was updated with fresh images and helpful content on 12/04/2020.

Looking for a healthy creamy tomato pasta sauce? Look no further! This vegan cashew cream tomato sauce is a plant-based (dairy-free) and nutritious option to a traditional vodka sauce or tomato sauce made with heavy cream.

We’re also skipping the vodka in this one ;).

Despite omitting those ingredients, this recipe is still soo tasty and creamy. I promise you won’t be able to tell it’s made without cream!

Not only is this recipe delicious and easy, but all the ingredients in this dish are packed with nutrition benefits, too. I’m all about elevating the nutrition factor of your favourite foods, without ever compromising on taste.

Want more pasta recipe inspiration? Check out my roundup of 20+ easy, healthy pasta recipes for more ideas!

closeup 45 degree angle photo of white bowl on top of small wood cutting board with rigatoni pasta tossed in a red cashew cream tomato sauce

Ingredients Needed

overhead photo of wood cutting board with bowls of ingredients for cooking pasta

How To Make Pasta With Cashew Cream Tomato Sauce

Before you start making this recipe, you want to make sure that you soak the cashews in water for at least 4 hours. I find I remember to do this best the night before I make a recipe using them!

NOTE: if you have a high-speed blender like a Vitamix (linked the one I use), you can get away without soaking the cashews for as long. Simply cover them in boiling hot water when you start prepping the rest of the ingredients, and let them soak until you need to use them.

Start by bringing a pot of water to a boil and cooking pasta according to package directions. You can use any shape of pasta you like – rigatoni, penne, etc.

While the pasta cooks, make the tomato sauce by adding the following ingredients into your blender: soaked cashews, strained or canned tomatoes, thyme, oregano, garlic, fresh basil, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

If you like things a little spicier, I highly recommend adding some red pepper flakes, too!

Blend all ingredients together until smooth in creamy. If using a high-speed blender, this should only take about a minute. If you’re not, you may have to add a bit of additional liquid until it reaches your desired consistency.

Finally, drain the pasta and return to the pot. Stir in the creamy tomato sauce and serve!

My Go-To Blender

overhead photo of large pot with rigatoni pasta topped with cashew cream tomato sauce

How To Store Leftovers

If you know you’ll have leftovers of this recipe, I recommend storing the leftover pasta and leftover sauce separately.

The reason for this is that the pasta tends to soak up/absorb some of the sauce when left for a long time. It’ll still taste good, but it’ll be less sauce-like and creamy!

Store both the pasta and the sauce in airtight containers in the fridge. The leftovers will keep for 3-5 days.

Another helpful tip? Toss the leftover plain pasta in a little olive oil before you store it. This will help prevent it from sticking together.

overhead photo of large pot with rigatoni pasta stirred in cashew cream tomato sauce

Recipe Modifications & Variations

  1. If you follow a strict gluten-free diet, be sure to use a certified gluten-free pasta instead of regular pasta. The sauce is naturally gluten-free.
  2. While I used strained tomatoes in this recipe, you can use any canned tomatoes or even fresh tomatoes if you’d prefer!
  3. If you’d like to add some extra greens, feel free to stir in some sautéed spinach or kale into this pasta.
  4. If you’re looking to up the nutrient density even more, try experimenting with different types of pasta like brown rice and quinoa, or bean/lentil/chickpea varieties. These are often higher in both fibre and protein than traditional white pasta. Some brands I love are Tinkyada or Banza, both of which can be found for a discounted price on Thrive Market. PS – you can also get bulk raw cashews here for much cheaper, too! Feel free to use my discount link to get 25% off your first Thrive order + 1 month free trial (affiliate)!
closeup overhead photo of white bowl on top of small wood cutting board with rigatoni pasta tossed in a red cashew cream tomato sauce

Health Benefits of Cashews

Cashews are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, which are known to promote heart health.

Cashews are also a source of protein, which provides the building blocks for every cell in your body. Together, fat and protein will help to keep you feeling full and satisfied.

Cashews are also rich in essential micronutrients like:

  • magnesium (important for proper nerve + muscle function and healthy bones)
  • iron (essential for synthesizing hemoglobin + transporting oxygen throughout the body)
  • vitamin B6 (involved in many metabolic reactions in your body)

Health Benefits of Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a great source of:

  • micronutrients, including vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K.
  • dietary fibre
  • antioxidants, like lycopene and beta-carotene.
45 degree angle photo of white bowl on top of small wood cutting board with rigatoni pasta tossed in a red cashew cream tomato sauce

More Vegan Cashew Cream Recipes

Did you give this Pasta with Vegan Cashew Cream Tomato Sauce Recipe a try? Let me know by leaving a comment and recipe rating below!

If you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram or Pinterest – seeing your creations always makes my day. You can also subscribe to my email list to never miss a new recipe or nutrition education post!

Get the Recipe: Pasta With Vegan Cashew Cream Tomato Sauce

This nutrient-dense and deliciously creamy pasta comes together so quickly. A perfect option for anyone who is vegan, dairy-free, or who just wants to switch things up! 
overhead photo of white bowl on top of small wood cutting board with rigatoni pasta tossed in a red cashew cream tomato sauce
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Ingredients

  • Approx. 3 cups pasta of choice (approx. 340 grams)

Cashew cream tomato sauce:

Instructions

  • ***NOTE: Before you start making this recipe, you want to make sure that you soak the cashews in water for at least 4 hours. I find I remember to do this best the night before I make a recipe using them!
    If you have a high-speed blender, you can get away without soaking the cashews for as long. Simply cover them in boiling hot water when you start prepping the rest of the ingredients, and let them soak until you need to use them.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain when cooked.
  • Add all sauce ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend ingredients until smooth and creamy (should take only a few minutes). Adjust seasonings to taste.
    *If not using a high-speed blender, it may take a bit of additional liquid and time until the sauce is smooth.
  • Finally, drain the pasta and return to the pot. Stir in the creamy tomato sauce, toss until pasta is coated, and serve. You can add some fresh basil, cracked pepper, or red pepper flakes on top if you'd like, too!

Notes

*Leftovers:
  • If you know you’ll have leftovers of this recipe, I recommend storing the leftover pasta and leftover sauce separately. The reason for this is that the pasta tends to soak up/absorb some of the sauce when left for a long time. It’ll still taste good, but it’ll be less sauce-like and creamy!
  • Store both the pasta and the sauce in airtight containers in the fridge. The leftovers will keep for 3-5 days.
  • Another helpful tip? Toss the leftover plain pasta in a little olive oil before you store it. This will help prevent it from sticking together.
 
*Recipe Variations & Modifications:
  • If you follow a strict gluten-free diet, be sure to use a certified gluten-free pasta instead of regular pasta. The sauce is naturally gluten-free.
  • While I used strained tomatoes in this recipe, you can use any canned tomatoes or even fresh tomatoes if you’d prefer!
  • If you’d like to add some extra greens, feel free to stir in some sautéed spinach or kale into this pasta.
  • If you’re looking to up the nutrient density even more, try experimenting with different types of pasta like brown rice and quinoa, or bean/lentil/chickpea varieties. These are often higher in both fibre and protein than traditional white pasta.

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know by leaving a recipe rating below, or by tagging @walderwellness on Instagram. I love seeing your beautiful creations!

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